Madrid: Gareth Bale`s future will come under fresh scrutiny when Real Madrid face Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday. Four years ago, Bale was powering through the heart of Bayern`s defence at the Allianz Arena before setting up Cristiano Ronaldo to score in a thumping 4-0 victory.
"This is why I came to the biggest club in the world," Bale said, after helping Real reach their first Champions League final in 12 years. "To win trophies and play in massive games." Bale was then considered Ronaldo`s heir and Real`s next golden boy but he returns to Munich this week, not only pondering his place in the starting XI but surely at the club at all beyond this season.
Sources have told AFP that while Bale`s first choice is still to stay at Real, where his family are settled and he relishes representing the world`s most glamorous team, his relationship with coach Zinedine Zidane has become strained.
Zidane has shown himself resistant to grudges, most recently in the case of Isco, who has played his way back into favour following a strong run of form in recent weeks. But there is a sense his tough, and often contradictory, handling of Bale has not provided the strongest platform for a revival.
The Welshman feels he was unfairly targeted when substituted at half-time in the quarter-final second leg against Juventus and harshly treated when no...